Welcome to the pedagogical site of Nigel Ward, teacher of ICT, integrated science and physics at the European School Brussels 3, Belgium.

I have made this site to help my students in their various classes - use the pull-down menus above to navigate through the hundreds of pages here.

I'll be leaving Brussels soon so I uploaded this photo to show how I really have become part of this city during my fifteen years here. The image was put together using the powerful free graphics program, the GIMP.

I made the banner at the top of this page using the wonderful free 3D modeling program Blender. See some beautiful Blender creations by Marten R (class of 2015) HERE. See Marten's medical mask and a spooky head in glorious interactive 3D (needs a decent computer so won't work at school). Same models HERE. See Marten presenting a cup he made in the video below and learn how the video was made HERE or see the video of BlenderGuru (Andrew Price) HERE. To see graphic work by other students of mine please follow this link.

This is not an official school site. Please send comments to me at nigel.ward-at-eeb3.be.

Meet Baker, a charming young man who works with us in ICT class as we learn 3D animation using Blender. In this video the voice is my own, shifted up in pitch using Audacity, another free program.


Who needs Hogwarts? We’ve been studying simple magic in ICT class. Here below is Andreas of s4 trying out some magic spells. As you can see, magic isn’t easy – it often goes wrong. If you accidentally turn yourself into a frog then DON'T COME CRYING TO ME! This video is available in HD on Vimeo.

 

 

Here below is Maxime (in s2 when he made this) modeling a medical mask which does not exist in the real world. The mask was designed by Marten R using Blender 3D and the same program was used to integrate the virtual mask into the real world video (the white dots on Maxime's face make this process easier).

My s4 and s5 students have been experimenting to see whether the Microsoft Kinect (a new type of 3D camera) can be used to capture motion that can then be transferred to the wonderful but hard-to-learn 3D modelling software Blender. Here's Vassilis (class of 2013) dancing with his avatar (virtual character). This is essentially the same technique that was used to make the film 'Avatar'. Thanks, Vassilis! To learn more about the free software Blender click here or here. To learn more about the Kinect click here or here. To capture the motion from the Kinect we used Brekel Kinect.

Don't miss also the video below which showcases 3D models made by students and by myself using the free software Sketchup and Blender. Don't have both videos playing at the same time. Open the video in HD if you are curious about how it was made.

THE LIGHT!

The theme of our 2011 Topoi project was light. If you are connected to the school intranet then follow THIS LINK to see a 9 minute movie called 'The Light' made by my s2enb Integrated Science class (class of 2016).

You can also download the video to your USB key by right-clicking the link and choosing 'Save Target As...'. Please do not publish this video to the Internet.

If you are not connected to the school intranet then you cannot view or download the file.

ILLUSIONS!

The topic of our 2010 'Topoi' project was 'Illusions'. About 130 of my ICT students have addressed the question of whether technological 'progress' is really more of an illusion. The negative side effects of so-called 'advances' in technology can be blamed for many of the worst problems faced by mankind and planet Earth in 2010, such as global warming, acid rain, ozone layer damage, unemployment and the threat of nuclear oblivion. Is it possible that our technological 'advances' are actually causing more harm than good?

The students (in years s1 to s5) participated in on-line discussions and discussed many controversial issues related to technology such as:

* Should couples be allowed to use technology to choose the sex of their baby?

* Does playing violent video games make people more violent? Should parents limit the playing of such games by their children?

* Technology has taken jobs away from millions of people. Is our idea of an ideal world a world where no one has to work?

* Video surveillance of citizens by the police is becoming more and more omnipresent. How do our students feel about being 'watched' by the police in this way?

* Rapid advances in the understanding of the aging process mean that we may soon be able to extend human life expectancy to 150 or 200 years. Is this good news?

* Please visit our online discussion forums and see how our students feel about technology.

REVOLUTION!

The topic of our 2009 'Topoi' project was 'revolution'. The most revolutionary change in our lives is likely to be the integration of computer technology and the human brain. It is estimated that computers will exceed the capacity of the human brain in about 2029, in less than twenty years. Paralleling the rapid advance in computer science, neuroscience is expected to progress to the extent that in twenty years' time it may be possible to read all our thoughts, and thus all our mind. Combining these advances we can predict that it may be possible to transfer a human mind to a computer. The implications would be enormous - nothing less than immortality for the human mind (could we still call it human?) and vastly-enhanced thinking abilities. Of course this is all highly controversial and clearly has a dark side...

Click HERE to see our work on these revolutionary technologies, including a 13 minute video...